Tea is a mystical beverage that seems to command legions of loyal drinkers. Just what is it that has captivated so many people for more than 2,000 years?
We all know how Hongkongers like their tea; despite Cantonese restaurant etiquette of stuffing a bunch of tea leaves into a pot and leaving it at that, the ways of making a good cup of tea are as diverse as the people who drink them. Here is how Team Young Post achieves their perfect cuppa.
For me, a cup of strong black tea would be perfect, along with a generous amount of evaporated, or better, condensed milk. Mmmmm. HK-style milk tea FTW!
Nicole Moraleda, sub-editor
Just like the locals like it
Step 1: Walk into a dai pai dong; step 2: say “Dong nai cha”; step 3: profit
Ben Young, content executive
Making the perfect HK-style milk tea - the silent witness to our city’s East-meets-West history and cultural heritage
For the Yorkshire lass
You boil water in an electric kettle (never in a microwave and never on the stove), and you place a tea bag (any will do, but preferably a Yorkshire blend) into a mug. Not a cup, a MUG. Then you pour the water into the mug and add a couple of splashes of milk to it. I like mine quite milky, or a little less if I use condensed milk. This will sound awful to some, but I keep my tea bag in to steep instead of taking it out. Boom, a perfect mug of tea. You’re welcome.
Ginny Wong, sub-editor
Easy on the milk!
Tea bag in mug (Bushells, if possible), pour in hot water (boiled in an electric kettle or on hellfire, whichever gets it hotter), dunk or stir with spoon until it’s so dark you can no longer see the tea bag, pour in a dash of soy milk from the fridge. Try to keep cats from playing with the tea bag tag. If I put in more than a dash of milk or, *gasp!*, sugar, you’ll know I’ve had the worst day ever.
Heidi Yeung, web editor
Keep it cold
In Hong Kong’s balmy weather, iced milk tea is the only way to go. To make it, I think you just make milk tea the normal way and then pour it over ice, although if you have money, you could just buy a cup from a milk tea store.
Joshua Lee, intern
Chinese tea and a good book
Put loose tea leaves (preferably jasmine heung pin tea) in a Chinese earthenware teapot and pour in hot (but not boiling) water. Let it soak for a few seconds and enjoy while reading your Kindle.
Jamie Lam, sub-editor
The art of making tea
There are two versions of the perfect cuppa. One requires a teapot, dainty teacups and saucers, loose-leaf Darjeeling (one teaspoonful per person, and one for the pot), tea strainer, cute little triangles of cucumber sandwiches with no crusts and a scone (rhymes with gone) or three, served on a tiered plate stand, all served at the Cadogan Hotel in London by an elderly gentleman who was once a butler to a duke and has all the best first-hand knowledge of 1950s high society scandals. (The Peninsula is also acceptable.)
The second requires a mug that holds at minimum 400ml, an electric kettle (bring your own if you visit North America, it saves the tears), a tea bag – the best are PG Tips, Yorkshire Tea or Builders Tea (; it’s actually a brand, too; again, always travel with some). Tea bag in mug. Boil kettle, and the INSTANT the switch clicks, pour directly on to tea bag. Leave for one minute, then add as much milk as you need to turn it to your preferred shade of beige. (Like Ginny, I leave the bag in.) Curl up on sofa with a book, favourite TV show, or great friend, sip, and know that everything’s going to be OK. And NEVER leave a half-finished mug of tea lying around to go cold; the disrespect!
Karly Cox, deputy editor
Don't forget the biscuit!
Ginny has already expertly described the art of making the perfect cup of tea, and it’s pretty much impossible to improve on perfection. So I only have one suggestion as to what might just make your tea-drinking experience even more magical, and that’s a digestive or rich tea biscuit for dunking.
Charlotte Ames-Ettridge, sub-editor
Hold the milk
Well, the tea needs to be made in a glass teapot, so you can appreciate the colour as it steeps. The water needs to be boiling hot, and the amount of Dragon Warrior leaves is a teaspoon for each person and one for the pot. I prefer to drink my tea out of a china bowl. I place a large crystal of sugar in the middle of the bowl and pour the tea, no milk.
Susan Ramsay, editor